Saturday, 25 September 2010

The Trailsman #347

as by Jon Sharpe
Signet, September 2010

The Dakotas, 1861 – The Trailsman is caught in a web of deceit.

Fargo is trying to lose a party of scalp-hunting Sioux when he comes across Jasmine Honeydew – a pious woman whose devotion to saving souls has incited the wrath of Abe Mitchell. Mitchell likes the small town of Hapgood Pond just the way it is – full of liquor, ladies, and lots of profit for him. But the Trailsman isn’t going to let a lovely lady of the Lord be pushed out of town without sending someone to hell….

Right from the start this book is filled with action, and if that isn’t enough to keep the reader turning the pages Jon Sharpe (in this case David Robbins) starts hinting that all the characters Fargo meets may not be who they say they are.

After the first body is found with an Arkansas toothpick buried in his neck, the Trailsman comes under suspicion. As the murders mount up, so did my thoughts on who was the killer and I’m afraid to say I got it completely wrong…which means the author does extremely well at disguising the real culprit. And as for the reasons behind these killings, I had no idea, not even coming close with my guesses at solving this mystery. The answer making me wonder why, to memory, I’ve never read anything similar in a western.

Descriptions are excellent, so are characterizations, dialogue is equally as well written – often proving to be very funny. The pacing of the story is superb and builds well to the final surprising revelations, which include a last twist to the tale.

If you enjoy fast moving westerns with plenty of mystery included then this is a book you should make sure you read.


David Cranmer said...

I haven't read a David Robbins Trailsman and this sounds terrific. I just finished Gorman's TEXAS TART which was tops.

Lovely artwork here for #347.

Steve M said...

Maybe it's time you tried one of David Robbins entries into the series David. In 2010 seven out of the twelve books are by him. By the end of 2010 he'll have written 82 regular Trailsman books (with more to come) and 6 of the Giant Editions.

If you enjoy his other work, such as the Wilderness series, I'm sure you'll like his Trailsman books too.

Steve M said...

Forgot to mention I agree about the artwork. I think overall this series has some excellent covers. I believe it's the only series that actually depicts something that happens in the books on the cover.

Matthew P. Mayo said...

This one does sound good. And I agree, of all the adult Westerns, Trailsman has some of the best cover art. I never understood the half-head look on Gunsmith and Slocums....